On Sunday, during his remarks at a prayer vigil for the victims of the terrible massacre in Jacksonville, all of whom were black, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was booed and heckled. Authorities say the shooter left behind manifestos detailing his racism. They claim that racism played a role in the shooting.
While attempting to speak at the vigil in the mostly black area near the Dollar General where the shooting occurred, Governor DeSantis, who is now seeking the Republican nomination for president, was jeered by the audience. Remarks like “you’re not welcome here” and “your policies caused this” were said, with the latter referring to DeSantis’ efforts to combat black history programs in Florida schools that encourage what he calls “woke indoctrination.”
Democratic black councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman cut the governor off while he was talking. Once she got the microphone, she said that people needed to “put parties aside” because bullets “don’t know a party.” She continued talking for a while before asking everyone to be quiet so they could hear the governor.
When Governor DeSantis was able to speak again, he had already found money within the state budget to increase security in the area and provide support to the victims’ families. DeSantis reassured the gathering of his commitment to safeguarding HBUCs and reminded them he had fought hard to protect Jewish schools from anti-Semitic attacks. The shooter in Jacksonville attempted to enter Edward Waters College, a historically black university or college, but was stopped by campus security. After killing two persons at the gas station, the shooter went to a Dollar General and killed three more before killing himself.
The governor’s administration stated Monday that they will donate $1 million to Edward Waters University to bolster security measures, and another $100,000 would go to the victims’ families. The FBI is leading the investigation, but the DOJ has also joined in since they believe it was “racially motivated violent extremism.”